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The Hall of Fame 2022 ballot

Should be another interesting year.

The ballot for the 2022 BBWAA Baseball Hall of Fame class was released Monday. The 30-player ballot is headlined by some huge names in their 10th and final year on the ballot — Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens — as well as notable newcomers, like Alex Rodriguez and David Ortiz.

As a reminder: In order to gain enshrinement into the Hall of Fame, a player needs to be named on at least 75 percent of the turned-in ballots from eligible BBWAA members. In order to avoid falling off the ballot, a player needs to get at least five percent. Players are eligible to remain on the ballot a maximum of 10 annual voting cycles.

The results of the vote will be revealed on Jan. 25, 2022. There are 17 holdover candidates in addition to 13 newcomers on the ballot. Newcomers are players who spent at least 10 seasons in the majors, have been retired for five years and were chosen by the Hall of Fame to be added to the ballot.

The big-name newcomers would be A-Rod and Big Papi, trickling down to Jimmy Rollins and Mark Teixeira. Some other notable first-timers include Joe Nathan, Jonathan Papelbon, Tim Lincecum, Jake Peavy, Justin Morneau, Carl Crawford and Prince Fielder.

You can see the full ballot, plus bios of the nominees, here. There’s also the Early Days Era and Golden Days Era ballots, which when all put together should avoid a shutout like we got last year. However you may feel about the more controversial players, there are guys to root for. I’m hoping for some good results this year. Jay Jaffe has more.

The Hall of Fame 2021 ballot

Always a favorite time of the year.

While the 2021 ballot announced Monday features former All-Stars such as Torii Hunter, Tim Hudson, Mark Buehrle and Barry Zito, none of its first-timers is an obvious Hall of Famer. The crowded crush of Cooperstown-caliber cases that voting members of the Baseball Writers’ Association of America were presented with in recent years has cleared, and that creates breathing room — and potentially large percentage increases — for the ballot’s hopeful holdovers, notably Curt Schilling, Barry Bonds, Roger Clemens and Omar Vizquel.

BBWAA voters, who have addressed the ballot congestion by voting in 13 players in the past four years, must submit their votes by year’s end. The results will be revealed on Tuesday, Jan. 26, on MLB Network.

Players must have their names checked on at least 75% of submitted ballots to enter the Hall of Fame, which will hold its 2021 induction ceremony on July 25 in Cooperstown, N.Y. The 2020 class featuring Derek Jeter, Larry Walker, Ted Simmons and the late Marvin Miller will also be inducted on this day, after the 2020 ceremony was postponed due to the coronavirus pandemic. The 2021 class will not feature any non-BBWAA inductees, as the Golden Days and Early Baseball Era Committees have postponed their votes until the winter of 2021-22.

Among the new additions to the BBWAA ballot, the highest career Wins Above Replacement figures, as calculated by Baseball Reference, belong to starting pitchers Buehrle (59.1) and Hudson (57.9) and outfielder Hunter (50.7). To put that in perspective, the average bWAR of Hall of Fame position players and pitchers is 69.

What this likely means, therefore, is closer scrutiny of players who have fared well on past ballots but have not yet crossed the 75% threshold. Players are eligible for up to 10 years on the BBWAA ballot. Last year, 397 ballots were submitted and 298 votes were needed for election.

Yeah, there are no newbies on the ballot this year that deserve close scrutiny. I’m rooting for Scott Rolen, Gary Sheffield, and Billy Wagner among the returning candidates, but really all I want is for Curt Schilling to not get inducted. Even in the year 2020, that’s not too much to ask, is it? More from MLB here and the Hall itself here.